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White Socks and Summer Soles: the Perfect Warm Weather Combo

Blog, Men’s Style Tips • 23 August 2023

Summer demands easy-to-wear essentials. Bright pieces that you can pull on for effortless style when the sun shines. Like your classic white t-shirt, plain white socks are a men’s summer staple. Crisp and cool (in all senses of the word), white socks have come a long way since their days at the bottom of your PE kit. They can form the basis of a seriously sophisticated, sunshine-ready wardrobe (head here for sartorial style tips on what to wear with white socks). From wearing linen and suede loafers with white socks for that vintage Riviera feel or shorts and black loafers for a smart streetwear vibe, to embracing flashback fashion with white sports socks and trainers, read on for style tips on how to wise up to white socks and summer shoes.

Are white socks in style?

The short answer is ‘yes’. White socks have had a wonderful style renaissance of late. Emerging from the depths of the sock drawer, shaking off the shackles of their former gym kit reputation, embracing their nostalgic appeal, white socks are versatile and stylish. A sock colour that is remarkably simple to master in a variety of style situations, despite its reputation.

From that Paul Newman shot on the classic Riva, to Rami Malek in white socks and black patent brogues in GQ or the straight-up streetwear style of Tyler, the Creator, celebrities have shown that white socks can fit into any dress code. Simply Sartorials in Cream with lightweight summer tailoring or trousers? Spot on. Simply Active Crew socks in White Cream with shorts for a laidback varsity feel? Always a winner. For something more subtle, Simply Trainer socks in White Cream with navy shorts is an elegant nod to the white socks trend.

Mens plain white socks on a split light and dark blue background

Can I wear white socks and white shoes?

You can and should wear white socks with white shoes. White trainers are, in fact, the perfect pairing for white socks. It gives your whole look a cool, crisp, clean appeal. It’s modern, without trying too hard. For a relaxed, on-trend ‘90s look, high top white Converse All Stars are hard to beat. They look great with London Sock Company’s signature Simply Sartorials in Cream or Simply Active Crew in White Cream, as our iconic penny farthing logo embroidery will subtly peek over the top of the shoe. For something more polished, white sneakers from brands like LØCI are a sophisticated, ‘grown up’ shoe to opt for. Smarten up your shorts in summer and wear smart white trainers with shorts and Simply Trainer ankle socks in White Cream or Simply Active Ankle or Quarter in White Cream. For super simple, try our non-ribbed Casual Cotton trainer socks in White.

Singer Joe Jonas sits on the floor in a black and white patterned sweater and stone trousers, with his legs crossed. He wears white socks from London Sock Company and black loafers.
Joe Jonas wearing Simply Sartorial in Cream for Who What Wear magazine, styled by Michael Fisher and photographed by Rebekah Campbell

Can I wear white socks and black shoes?

White socks and black shoes can look great together. Very smart indeed. But you have to do it right. It takes some serious sartorial swagger to pull off the black patent Oxfords and white socks you might see in the pages of GQ. Generally, though, black shoes and white socks are fairly simple to pull off as long as you are willing to break some outdated ‘rules’.

Take black loafers, for example. These more formal shoes have typically been the reserve of tailored looks and black or burgundy socks. White socks are reserved for casual, off-duty looks right? Wrong. Combining smart white socks with black loafers looks just the right side of confident. Take Joe Jonas up there. Do this combination justice with jeans for a dressed-down statement or white sports socks with tailored shorts and black loafers for a strong summer twist. Wear with plain white ribbed socks, or for a twist, try checked black and white socks like our Ottaway Style in Grey – off white, silvery socks with a modern Prince of Wales check in black and yellow. Superb. Of course for something more simple and easy-to-wear, you can’t go wrong with classic black trainers and white sports socks.

Can I wear white socks and black trainers?

Black trainers and white socks is an absolute winning combination. The perfect contrast, this is the ultimate monochrome moment. Trainers are a casual, comfortable shoe choice. Black leather (or luxurious vegan leather like our friends at LØCI make) take it up a notch for a sleek, more sophisticated take on street style. White sports socks in a crew length (often called tube socks) look timelessly cool, but for a bit of an elegant edge, try smart ribbed white dress socks or even slightly off white socks, like our Simply Sartorials in Silver Fox.

Three pairs of white sports socks in different lengths lay on a blue background beside a blue hoody and black trainers.

How do I keep white socks white?

Fresh out-of-the-box white socks are one of life’s greatest joys. Admit it: pulling on a gleamingly crisp white pair of socks makes you feel great. You can make your white socks stay brilliant white for longer by following a few simple rules:

Stubborn discolouration? Try:

Baking soda: soak your socks in a sink of warm water and a generous sprinkling of baking soda for several hours. Wring them dry and wash them as usual in your machine but this time add between 150ml and 200 ml of baking soda to the washing liquid/detergent drawer, as well as your normal detergent.

Lemon juice: When life give you lemons, clean your socks. Antibacterial, antiseptic and a natural bleach, the acid found in lemons is a natural super clean agent. Placing your not-so-white socks into a basin of warm water infused with the fresh lemon juice for a couple hours will work wonders.

White socks are the perfecting summer pairing with a whole range of shoe styles. Give this sure-to-impress combination a go by shopping our selection of stylish white cotton socks today.

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